In an absolutely brilliant display of political gamesmanship and striped-pants diplomacy, New Line CEO Robert Shaye has told SCI FI Wire that the studio won’t work with Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson on that film or any other film. Ever. As long as Shaye is still running things, at least.
Robert Shaye, Peter Jackson
“It will never happen during my watch,” Shaye is quoted as saying. He said this during a promotional tour promoting The Last Mimzy, a New Line fantasy-family flick. “”I do not want to make a movie with somebody who is suing me.
Inside Jackson, he feels, is “a kind of arrogance. Not that I don’t think Peter is a good filmmaker and that he hasn’t contributed significantly to filmography and made three very good movies. And I don’t even expect him to say ‘thank you’ for having me make it happen and having New Line make it happen.
“But to think that I, as a functionary in [a] company that has been around for a long time, but is now owned by a very big conglomerate, would care one bit about trying to cheat the guy… he’s either had very poor counsel or is completely misinformed and myopic to think that I care whether I give him [anything].”
In other words, Shaye feels personally slighted about Jackson having more or less called him, a chiseler, and his dander is up, his honor has been challenged, and, in the words of the great Tom Petty, he “won’t back down.”
Jackson told TheOneRing.net last November that he and partner Fran Walsh were cutting ties with New Line after learning that the studio was moving ahead with The Hobbit without them. Jackson has said he won’t discuss The Hobbit until a lawsuit against New Line over Rings accounting practices is settled.